It is rightly said, Goa is meant to be for the wild ones! While the night long parties and beaches in Goa will bring out the best in you; there is more to it than meets the eye. For people who are passionate about wildlife and nature; Goa is all set to leave you awe-inspired. Here’s a list of must-explore wildlife sanctuaries in Goa you are bound to fall in love with.
Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary
The largest wildlife sanctuary in Goa, this one is located in the Sanguem regions. Famous for its Dudhsagar falls and ancient temples belonging to the Kadamba dynasty, Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary has more to it than meets the eye. Spot the rare Bengal Tiger, Black Panther or the Bonnet Macaque easily while touring this dense jungle. Not just the wild animals but this one is also a home for a plethora of bird species such as Wagtails, Fairy Bluebird, Drongo, and the Great Indian Hornbill. Look forward to sighting numerous butterflies all of different species and colours.
Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary
Bondla Wildlife Sanctuaries is quite famous amongst the school kids and the tourists for being a home to the much conflicted wildlife Leopards and Indian Cobras. Even after being the smallest wildlife sanctuary in the Goa it is famous for having the only zoo in all of Goa, a botanical garden, and even a deer safari which makes it ideal for one day’s excursion. The many watchtowers in the sanctuary are the best way to catch a glimpse of flora and fauna that this wildlife sanctuary boasts.
Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary
A gem hidden in the South Goa, Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary is located in Canacona. Being the second largest sanctuary in Goa, Cotigao has a great Nature Interpretation Centre and is ideal for studying the raw nature closely. The dense sanctuary is known for its tall trees, some of which reach 30 metres or more. A special feature of this forest is a treetop watchtower at a height of 25 metres. Being a home to magnificent birds, this one is a paradise for the birdwatchers. The forest is brimming with birds such as Flying Squirrel, Slender Loris, Indian Pangolin, Malabar Pit Viper, Draco or Flying Lizard etc.
Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary
Sitting next to the Mandovi River, Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary is named after the most popular ornithologist of India, Dr. Salim Ali. For those looking out for rare and exotic birds, this is the haven of sheer 440 acres. A home to numerous migratory birds, this is best visited from November to February when Pintail Ducks, Cormorants, Mallards, Purple Moorhen and Storks flock in for the season. Along with the various domestic and migratory birds, the sanctuary also has a plethora of rare wildlife such as Indian rock Python and Flying Fox.
Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary
A wildlife reserve famous for housing the significant tributary of the Zuari River and Netravali waterfall, this one is a dense forest surrounded by various sanctuaries and national parks on all sides. The deep jungle of Netravali is also famous for various wild animals that can easily be spotted such as Hornbills, Black Panthers, Slender Loris, King Cobras, and the Giant Squirrels. The Bubble pond tucked away in the stunning jungle of Netravali is worth the excursion.
The Indian wilderness will never end to enchant anyone and you would be surprised to see such a major chunk of wilderness situated right amidst the Goan old world charms and beaches. So, next time you are planning a weekend getaway in Goa, make sure to tick off every name from your list while you set out to explore these gems because each one is worth it.